Do You Have a Culture of Learning From Mistakes in Your Healthcare Organization?


As I'm trying to finish my book about learning from mistakes (“The Mistakes That Make Us“), I have examples from many different types of companies, including KaiNexus, that have a very strong and intentional culture of learning from mistakes.

These examples also include Toyota and two award-winning distilleries. And companies in other industries.

Do any of you working in healthcare have what you'd describe as a healthy culture of learning from mistakes?

I have some stories about what happens when you do NOT have that culture in healthcare. “Naming, blaming, and shaming” is still sadly the norm. This drives people to get better at hiding mistakes, which leads to more mistakes over time.

If you work in a different industry or setting, do you have a culture of mistakes in your organization?

Does your organization say, “Mistakes are OK, as long as we learn from them?”

Reacting constructively to mistakes doesn't mean people get to be reckless. Accepting and learning from small mistakes allows us to learn and prevent big catastrophes.

When you have high enough levels of Psychological Safety, that means it is generally safe for people to admit mistakes — so they can learn and improve, preventing future mistakes instead of looking backward just to blame and punish. Do you work in that type of setting?

I'd love to hear positive examples of a culture of learning from mistakes, for the sake of general discussion…

What do you think? Please scroll down (or click) to post a comment. Or please share the post with your thoughts on LinkedIn – and follow me or connect with me there.

Did you like this post? Make sure you don't miss a post or podcast — Subscribe to get notified about posts via email daily or weekly.

Check out my latest book, The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation:

Get New Posts Sent To You

Select list(s):
Previous articleWhat Do We Mean by Vulnerable Acts in the Context of Psychological Safety?
Next articleRyan McCormack’s Operational Excellence Mixtape: January 27th, 2023
Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.